Land Rover is a brand of the British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, which specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover, with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, was acquired by Tata Motors, an Indian company, in 2008.
The Land Rover name was originally used by the Rover Company for one specific vehicle model, named simply the Land Rover, launched by Rover in 1948. Over the following years it developed into a marque encompassing a range of four-wheel-drive models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rovers are currently assembled in the company’s Halewood and Solihull plants, with research and development taking place at JLR’s Gaydon and Whitley engineering centres. Land Rover sold 194,000 vehicles worldwide in 2009.
Although the brand originates from the original 1948 model, Land Rover as a company has only existed since 1978. Prior to this, it was a product line of the Rover Company which was subsequently absorbed into the Rover-Triumph division of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BL) following Leyland Motor Corporation’s takeover of Rover in 1967. The ongoing commercial success of the original Land Rover series models, and latterly the Range Rover in the 1970s in the midst of BL’s well-documented business troubles prompted the establishment of a separate Land Rover company but still under the BL umbrella, remaining part of the subsequent Rover Group in 1988, under the ownership of British Aerospace after the remains of British Leyland were broken up and privatised. In 1994 Rover Group plc was acquired by BMW. In 2000, Rover Group was broken up by BMW and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company, becoming part of its Premier Automotive Group. In 2006 Ford purchased the Rover brand from BMW for around £6 million. This reunited the Rover and Land Rover brands for the first time since 2000 when the Rover group was broken up by BMW.
In June 2008, Ford sold both Land Rover and Jaguar Cars to the Indian Tata Motors. This sale also included the dormant Rover brand.
In September 2013 Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to open a 100 million GBP (160 million USD) research and development centre in the University of Warwick, Coventry to create a next generation of vehicle technologies. The carmaker said around 1,000 academics and engineers would work there and that construction would start in 2014.
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